Big Boat, Big River, Big Jungle, Big Fun
Trip Start Aug 20, 2007
78Trip End Jul 04, 2008
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Geared up and in two motos we putted to the port. Somewhat controlled chaos is how one could describe it. Groups of men rush at you as they see you come toward the muddy slope by the Amazon. They grab your bags and bottles and talk rapidly in your face. You have to stay cool and always focused on your personal belongings because the theives works in groups of two, three, or more
We boarded the Gran Diegoīs three stories at about 5 oīclock and choose the top towards the back. It was not as crowded, open and breezey. The next four hours were hot and sticky. Controlled chaos one might describe it. Venders zipped around ducking, dodging, jumping from boat to boat selling everything from chicken sandwiches to prirated dvds to pink and blue pills to T.P. An army of hammocks was assembled and hung. Never seen so many hammocks in my life. We were always watching our gear.
Finally the boat tooted and we backed out onto the largest river in the world under a starrry sky. Spent the night talking with dad who looked very tired after traveling the past 24 hours on two hours of sleep, reading, looking at the stars, and watching Rocky dubbed in spanish (he even sounded like him but in spanish, Oye, Adrriann!!!).
Arrived in Pevas, Peru after seeing some pink river dolphins at around 9 am the next morning. Its a little hub for all the surrounding communities to sell and trade goods. The people here are of Indian decent. They represent many regoinal tribes. They all staired at us. Especially me because I was caring my surfboard.( Got to have it for the coast of Brazil) We ate breakfast in the little market with many eyes watching us
We picked up an Ocaina Indian named Jaun who would be our host and extra guide the next 5 days. He took us up a tributory river named Ampiyou in his pecapeca (outboard powered long canoe sounds like its name) for an hour. Then another river towards the Ocaina village of Nueva Esparanza. The further we went the thicker and taller the forest became. We so tons of new birds to add to our lists. Dad was loving it. Saw squirrel monkeys trooping around a tree. We even saw a 6 foot caiman which our guide, Walter, tried sneeking up on but didnīt have the Steve Irwin skills.
We arrived at Neuva Esparanza with a few curious little ones looking at us with steady eyes. We hiked up the muddy bank to the village with raised huts. Each hut had palm frawned roofs. They say they last up to thirty years if done right. Opone walls, a dining hut that was connected by a ramp that usually had the sleeping courters there. They slept. on simple mats on the floor or in hammocks. We put our gear in Juans home with his kids looking at us and smiling politely.
The Ocaina are very polite and shy, but once they see you around for a bit they become very open. Some are very proud of their heritage and like to tell you stories and legends and how they live.
We used sapplings as poles. I caught a stick. Dad caught a three inch sardine. The sunset on the river was amazing. Jungle noises are strange indeed. Very peaceful though. Floating down the river. Just listening and flcking your hook around. Looking at birds and the massive trees. I have been waiting for a moment like this for years.
The next day we traveled four hours up river to a more remote area of the jungle. Passed several Huitoto Indian villages on the way. Ate lunch on a hunters clearingn. His hut was built almost ten feet off the ground ,``To keep jaguars out.`` Walter explained. It poured on us. But what do you expect. Itīs a rainforest.
We arrived to camp with several pink dolphins swimming around and blasting puffs into the air. Set up camp with hammocks and moquito nets. Slept well that night. The jungle was very loud. Bambo rats barking, animals rustling around in the undergrowth and the constant high pitched hum of mosquitos where background noise.
We woke early for a jungle hike. Juan led the way with his machete, Walter followed with his
``No, John Lennon.`` Juan answered without a smile. I died laughing.
Six hours later we are back at camp and swimming in the amazon. Careful not to pee in the water for fear the Penis fish would swim up my eurethra. I actually caught one the other day. I was peeing off the boat. Pinched mid-stream and caught it in my hand. Slimey little bastard. I kid. I caught it on a hook. Along with several other catfish.
The last morning at camp was rainy. We slowly went down the river. Stopped at a Huitoto village ate and chatted with the local school teacher. She liked dad enough to give him a necklace and head band with feathers. We left feeling very National Geographiccy again.
We arrived to Nueva Esparanza again. I jumped to the shore and found out that mud is soft. Up to my knees I was stuck in the mud much to everyones enjoyment. The little kids that were hanging out with us before hung out with us again. Sat around in the round house
Slept well and woke very early for our return trip to Pevas. We saw a black collared hawk eating a snake on the way. We met Fransisco Grippa in the market. He invited us to his gallery. I had no clue who he was. Apparently he is a internationally celebrated artist. His house is more like a complex. Amazing works of art all over the place. Lots of colors and subjects that deal with all things Amazonia. Dad walked in a said it was nice and walked outside and sat on a porch. (Very classy move) We enjoyed the art loving the randomness of the situation.
Back on a boat for the next 24 hours we floated down the Amazon stopping at every village on the way picking up pigs and people on the way and dropping off bottles of pop and beer. We made it to the tri-border area of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. Went through immigration and found a hotel in Brazil. We then went to get my passport stamped at the police station. I had 90 days to make it to Brazil with a valid visa. I showed up on the 90th day a few hours before they closed. I was extremely happy. Its a good sign.